Pax Christi works tirelessly to present programs and activities that highlight the Gospel message of peace and reconciliation. The members are dedicated to self knowledge and personal growth as well as community education and activism. Although this is the international Catholic movement for peace people of all faiths are welcome. The goal of Pax Christi is to work with others to stem the tide of violence, intolerance and poverty in our own neighborhoods as well as in our global communities.
For close to 40 years Pax Christi Metro New York has been leading the way to helping Catholics and many others in their desire to follow the non-violent Jesus. Through many activities such as the Good Friday Walk for Peace in Manhattan and annual retreats and conferences members can put their desire for peace into action. There is no limit to the efforts of the many local groups supported by this regional center. We can always depend upon Metro New York for support, education and inspiration.
Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) plays an invaluable role in making Catholics in and around New York aware of peace and justice issues. There are many aspects of PCMNY's work that I admire, but the event that I appreciate the most is the annual Pax Christi Way of the Cross. Each year Pax Christi volunteers remind hundreds of New Yorkers of the profound connection between Jesus's death on the cross and peacemaking by leading them through the fourteen stations of the cross on the streets of Manhattan. The diversity of the participants and the power of the experience had a lasting impact on me. In many ways, the Stations of the Cross is Pax Christi's signature event, proclaiming the group's mission to the city.
In this tumultuous era of continual war, with our nation's budgetary priorities focused more on weaponry than on human needs, we more than ever need citizens willing to stand courageously for peace and nonviolence. In Pax Christi Metro New York, I have found a thoughful, dedicated community whose members are willing to step beyond their comfort zones to tackle the critical issues of the day. Pax Christi members study and stand publicly against military excess; endeavor respectfully to engage with others who hold different viewpoints; and share insights, information, and practical information about how effectively to respond to situations, both local and global, in which violence needs to be countered. Being faithful to the Gospel injunction to love one's neighbor isn't always easy. It takes patience and practice. Pax Christi Metro New York shares with its members practical tools for living non-violently; nourishes its members with focused retreats by noted peacemakers; and helps equip its members to go into the world with a message of peace. I can think of no more important undertaking, nor any organization better suited to that task -- notwithstanding its small size and budget. Nor can I think of any organization from which I have personally derived, or witnessed, greater learning or benefit.